NBC Sports Washington is airing 'Wizards Greatest Hits,' including Paul Pierce's 'I called game' shot against the Hawks in 2015 (May 7 at 7 p.m.) and John Wall's go-ahead three against the Celtics in 2017 (May 14 at 7 p.m.).
There is nothing greater in the sport of basketball than a game-winning shot and its excitement is barely rivaled in all of sports. You have walk-off homers in baseball, overtime goals in hockey and hail mary's in football; but there is nothing quite like the clock ticking down and everyone knowing it all comes down to one final shot attempt.
In their 59 seasons as a franchise, the Wizards have quite a few memorable game-winning shots and some of them were made by legendary players. Here is a ranking of the best ones in franchise history...
1. Gilbert Arenas vs. Bulls in Game 5 of 2005 playoffs
This one tops the list because, though it isn't the only playoff game-winner in Wizards/Bullets history, it is the only one that occurred in a series they actually won. And it was also central in Arenas' rise to superstardom. He developed a reputation for clutch shots and this one was the biggest of his career.
2. Paul Pierce vs. Hawks in Game 3 of 2015 playoffs
Pierce hit one game-winning shot for the Wizards and it was a big one. He banked it in against the Hawks to win Game 3 and give the Wizards a 2-1 series lead. And afterwards, he delivered one of the greatest quotes in franchise history when asked if he called bank, saying 'I called game.' Pierce would also nearly beat the Hawks at the buzzer in Game 6 before replay overturned the call and lost the Wizards the series.
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3. Dudley Bradley in Game 1 of 1986 playoffs vs. Sixers
This one is probably the most difficult to recreate of any on this list. Even if you are unguarded messing around at your local court, you have to spin and then bank it in. And this one won a playoff game against Charles Barkley and Dr. J. The Bullets, though, would go on to lose the series.
4. John Wall vs. Celtics in Game 6 of the 2017 playoffs
Another amazing shot that happened in a series the Wizards didn't win. And this one was not a buzzer-beater, but a go-ahead shot. The Wizards then had to play defense on a final possession. It was the biggest shot of Wall's career and one that produced some great photos of him standing on the scorers' table celebrating with fans.
5. Gilbert Arenas vs. Bucks in 2007
Arenas was known for his buzzer-beaters and this was one of his best in Washington. He pulled up from long range and sent the Bucks home with a cold-blooded three. There is a famous cutaway shot of Michael Redd smiling in disbelief as he watches Arenas walk away with swagger.
6. Michael Jordan vs. Cavs in 2002
Jordan had a few buzzer-beaters for the Wizards, but none more memorable than this one which had some distinct similarities to 'The Shot' he made over Craig Ehlo. Jordan once again killed the Cavs at the buzzer and made a shot from nearly the same spot on the floor.
7. Jeff Malone vs. Pistons in 1984
This was a regular season game, but ranks highly because of the degree of difficulty. Malone hit a three while jumping out of bounds to lift the Bullets over the 'Bad Boy Pistons' at the Capital Centre.
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